Green Climbing

Other Crags, Aid Climbing, Bouldering, etc...
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pigsteak
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Green Climbing

Post by pigsteak » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:44 am

The new edition of Climbing magazine is devoted to 'green" or "greener" climbing....what do you do to sustain the planet and the sport?

For me, I actually was torn and felt more guilty after reading the mag cover to cover. Over and over it hit me that our sport is not healthy for the planet in any stretch of the definition. Every article talks about minimizing our impact, not eliminating or improving.

Driving our cars (wasting fossil fuels) to the crag and taking road trips seems to be the biggest impact we as climbers have. But how in the world do we eliminate this? The list in the mag was long and overwhelming...dogs destroying vegetation, human erosion with trails, fixed anchors permanently scarring the rock, the by products (many oil related) that are part of gear manufacturing, the noise pollution from screaming climbers/boulderers, killing vegetation when we drop our packs or boulder pads under the new areas, .......

I always wanted to think/feel like I was engaging in a healthy lifestyle for Mother earth and for my brothers and sisters who I walk this path alongside. But now I am doubting, and think it is all an illusion to satisfy my thirst for adventure.

Is there anyone here who honestly can say with a straight face they are eco conscious, yet they climb outside regularly? If so, please share your stories of how your journey is helping and not hurting the environment.
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Post by krampus » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:54 am

I like to minimize fossil fuel consumption by never driving my own car (can't make it to the southern region anyway). I still use my first harnes so I don't contrubute to the waste generated by buying new crap every year. I use an ATC because modern technology is the fall of humanity. My shoes are mostly made of duck tape, and I only eat meatless leftovers from miguel's trash cans.
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Post by One-Fall » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:07 am

Carpooling, staying on designated trails, not climbing in big groups. Kipp, im all for making our activity as green as possible. But what about football, baseball and basketball. How much damage gets done to the environment for people to just watch those sports, let alone participate. How big are those stadiums and parkinglots? What about wiping out a forest to put in a golf course?

When done right, I think ours is one of the greener activities (with room for improvement).
Can't we all just get along?

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Post by anticlmber » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:26 am

yes but lots of football folks don't travel that often. they call them arm-chair for a reason.

piggie, there is nothing wrong with going outside but like stated there are ways to do it with "minimal" impact.
ways to do so:
place gear on rocks or already barren/hard packed areas
don't yardsale your shit
if its crowded, go elsewhere
keep the noise to a minimum
don't poop and if you do pack it out/bury it well
carpool
PICK UP TRASH yours and others
many,many more but those are the main ones that really do make a big difference
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Post by ahab » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:32 am

Image

Image

Image
Image

environmental responsibility is important, but perhaps we should take care of the big dogs before we start wringing our hands over driving a 4 banger 100 miles to climb on the weekend.
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Jeff
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Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:32 am

I know I'm never using electricity while climbing.

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Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:34 am

Oh yeah, you're not helping the environment by subscribing to the mags either.

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Post by pigsteak » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:38 am

Jeff wrote:Oh yeah, you're not helping the environment by subscribing to the mags either.
exactly.
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Post by pkananen » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:42 am

Simple issue for me. Doing environmental good is not the ultimate good in my life. It is important, and I minimize impact as much as possible, but it is not my ultimate value. Actually, it isn't the ultimate good for most anyone, and if they say so, they are deluding themselves. In fact, making it the ultimate goal of anyone's life is a fleeting pursuit.

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Post by anticlmber » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:10 am

yes but what IS your ultimate goal, or one of them at least??

to have an ultimate goal(s) that effect only you or your small sphere is of no benifit to anyone(including yourself)
having goals more inline with helping more than just yourself are never a fleeting pursuit.

perhaps it is thos thoughts that keep them fleeting.
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Post by ahab » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:23 am

yea, i'll keep buying cheap plastic shit at wallie world, but i'll be damned if i use those environmentally unfriendly climbing products.
sticky shoe rubber kills baby dolphins!!!

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Post by pkananen » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:33 am

anticlmber wrote:yes but what IS your ultimate goal, or one of them at least??

to have an ultimate goal(s) that effect only you or your small sphere is of no benifit to anyone(including yourself)
having goals more inline with helping more than just yourself are never a fleeting pursuit.

perhaps it is thos thoughts that keep them fleeting.
I never said it wasn't a goal (in fact, I said the opposite). I just said it wasn't my ultimate value.

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Post by pigsteak » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:39 am

why the defensiveness from several..this wasn't about other things being more evil than what we do...

it was about stepping up to our responsibility as climbers, and not pretending our poo don't reek.

I was honestly wondering what you as an individual do to improve our stewardship...

if you don't shop at wally world but drive every weekend to go climb, is that really any different?
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Post by caribe » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:39 am

I 2nd ahab's opinion. Great posts buddy.

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Post by Barnacle Ben » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:40 am

A few things. First, like ahab said, driving to the crag is nothing compared to some of the other shit that goes on. I'm not talking about moral relativism either. I'm talking about what whether it makes more than a nominal negative impact. And I think ahab has a point.

Second, if we weren't all climbing, we'd probably be doing something else. Skiing, mountain biking, golfing. Most of those activities have some sort of similar negative environmental impact. I guess jogging to and from your place of living would have minimal environmental impact. But I hate running, so I'm not going to quit climbing to start running.

My point is that to single out 'climbing' over most other forms of recreational activity is a distinction without a difference. I haven't gotten the new issue of Climbing yet, but I would imagine you could substitute the words 'mountain biking' for 'climbing' and the article would still be valid. Or as someone mentioned above, look at golf and golf course development for example.

Finally, I think you have to take the good with the bad to get the full picture. So for the sake of the argument, yes, there are some aspects of climbing that are detrimental to the environment. But aren't there any aspects of climbing that are good for the environment? What about the Access Fund? I think securing land for public recreational use, and in the process avoiding wide-scale development of that land, is a tremendous boon to the environment.

Of course, I'll admit that the environmental 'ideal' would be to secure the land and prohibit ALL human impact. But: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."
"But the motto was, never think you're that cool - you're still just climbing rocks...in the woods...with bugs...and everyone thinks you're crazy."

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